We know we need skills to work, and the right skills for the right job but we also need soft skills. To better understand what these are, consider all other aspects of yourself, your character, attitude, responses, social skills and many more…
List of soft skills:
Ability to Self Doubt
Not everyone has this. Having a good work ethic is about getting things done and really wanting to drive things forward. Some say they have it but they don’t really. This is linked to motivation. Perhaps you come from a family of doers or you’re naturally energetic, whatever the drive, the person with great work ethic is someone who will spot what needs doing and do it. Initiative comes into it and of course hard work but it’s about stepping out of your role and often into a realm that may be a job that’s below or above you. Someone who lacks great work ethic would be an individual who is lazy, resents working, couldn’t care less or simply does what they’ve been asked and no more.
Communicating is not all about you talking. There’s actually a lot more involved. Communication is a soft skill that also includes presenting information in a way others can understand, listening to what others have to say, assimilating information in the workplace and being heard. We all talk but not all of us are understood by others. Do others listen to you? When you speak, do people pay attention? A good communicator is someone who is assessing information both verbal and non-verbal, around them and keeping the lines of discussion open between others in the workplace. Consider whether you speak clearly, calmly, professionally, how you’re representing yourself when you talk. These are all communicative skills.
A good leader understands the rest of the team. Having a vision and goal will not be enough. Encouraging others to get on board with you is easier said than done. A leader will need to show honesty to others, gain respect, be heard among a group of people and will need to nurture others. A team is only as strong as its weakest member. Inspiring others will be essential. It will be essential to spot those who are driving the whole team forward and those who may be dragging it down.
Ability to Self Doubt
A good leader is not someone who knows it all. It is ok to say “I don’t know but I’ll find out”. Being too sure of oneself can be a downfall. There’s a difference between being confident and being arrogant. Considering all options will involve doubting your own ideas, this is all fine. Putting ideas through a round of strength tests through thought will only deem them as robust as you’d first thought or highlight that they weren’t as strong and that you’re better off going in a different direction. Admitting you’re wrong or that your idea wasn’t as great as you’d first thought will be included in self-doubt as well. You are only human, you won’t have all of the answers all of the time.
Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say. To drive a business forward will require a team of people, no one can do it alone. This will require working alongside others professionally, respecting others in the workplace, respecting their role and respecting others’ skills. To thrive in the workplace will demand that you’re a team player. Once you can trust others and work alongside them harmoniously, then you will have mastered teamwork and work life will be more enjoyable. Encourage others’ and their ideas. The more positive you are towards those around you, the more positive and accepting they’ll likely be of you. This is the case for everyone you work with, from superiors to your own team and even those in other departments. The anti-team player is easy to spot, they often speak ill of others or hype other’s misgivings and failures. This is not a team player.
This covers all aspects of work. From being timely with arrivals and your departure at the end of the day, to breaks and your work itself. Managing your time effectively and being efficient with time will show others around you that you’ve got it together and you’re reliable. This will require knowing when to prioritise certain tasks and taking the initiative to do so, without being told. If you find time gets away from you, set an alarm on your calendar desktop or watch. Knowing what’s required of you and delivering that is what employers are looking for. Someone who can’t keep up may raise questions as to whether they can cope with the role.
Are you the person who goes to others with a problem or the person who people come to in order for it to be solved? This will tell you whether you’re a problem solver. Offering ideas goes a long way to helping problem solve in situations in the workplace. Thinking before asking for help, or attempting to teach yourself or remedy a matter will show that you are capable of problem-solving. Asking for other’s help or time before doing so will only take away their time and highlight that perhaps you’re not great at problem-solving. In order to problem solve you will need to utilise critical thinking.
Critical thinking is the ability to make informed decisions. It’s one thing to offer ideas, but this will involve making a decision. Making a decision will then ultimately deem you responsible for the outcome, since you lead others’ in that direction, so this is connected to the ability to problem solve, deduce and assimilate information and lead from the front. In addition, analysis of facts, insight or figures will be involved in critical thinking, you will need to adapt your knowledge to the problem at hand and determine the most likely route to success or solving the problem.
Flexibility is the ability one has to adapt quickly to a new or changing situation or environment. Improvisation will be essential. You may need to change strategy or direction and quickly grasp a new direction. This will require you to see issues from all perspectives, and not be fixated on one.
This is a skill that everyone needs in the workplace generally. More specifically, it will be required in conjunction with decisions either backfiring or not going as planned. You will need to be resilient to something not working, this could even be your own solution to a problem. Resilience is your response to how quickly you can bounce back after a hurdle. Failure is inevitable. Success is not a straight line. You will almost always see resilience in those in senior roles. It’s important to remember that resilience and determination usually go hand in hand. This is not the domain for the quitter. Think: Fall seven times, stand up eight.
This will require your leadership skills. In order to create an outcome that is positive, you will need to negotiate. The key to this is in the word. You will need to negotiate with another in order to get what you want. This is not the same as getting everything you want or getting everything your own way. Amidst negotiation, strong communication skills will be required, teamwork, perhaps flexibility. You may need to compromise. You will first need to know what it is that you want and quickly understand what it is the other party wants. It is at this point only that negotiation can begin. Consider deal breakers, strategy and climb downs. Ultimately if everyone can get what they want, this is the best outcome and with good negotiations this is often possible.